A Philadelphia Encounter
by Diane

Photograph Smile

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Diane's Picture of Jules

Special Thanks to Diane for sharing her story and picture!
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I learned of Julian's Philadelphia TV performances on his web site. There is also a Philly radio station, WXPN that's been playing a lot of "Photograph Smile." I had spoken to the mid morning host the week before the release of "Photograph Smile.". We talked about Julian's accomplishments, past and present and we exchanged a lot of information. I told her about "Saltwater" and she told me about Kevin Gilbert. (Deceased friend of Julian's for whom "Crucified" is written. ~ CJ)

On 2/22, I called the TV station and was able to get on the guest list for Julian's performance for "Philly After Midnight." I secured a spot for myself and my son Gabe, who is 17 and who also enjoys Julian's music. On 2/23, I heard on WXPN that they were going to interview Julian for the lunch hour for the next day! On 2/24, as luck would have it, he was interviewed by the same person I talked to the week before. Finally, an interviewer that asked intelligent questions. You could feel Julian's warmth and honesty through the radio.

That evening, Gabe and I arrived early at the TV station for the taping. Gabe enjoys Julian's music, but he also admires Julian for his musical talents. He knows that Julian never really had any formal musical training, yet he's able to play a variety of instruments and write music with natural ease. According to the producer, about 57 people signed up, yet only about 30 people showed up for the taping. I was livid. About 45 minutes before the show, the producer came out and very sternly announced that Julian would be coming in through the studio door and we were NOT to talk to him, ask him for autographs, take pictures, etc.

A few minutes later, someone said that Julian was here. Now, I have to tell you something personal. Because of my job, I can easily respond to any kind of crisis. I have spoken at seminars and answered the toughest questions without a second thought. But when Julian Lennon walked through that door, I absolutely froze. I only saw him and his group when they were directly in front of me. Fortunately, Gabe is not easily intimidated. He broke the ice for everyone in the room and said to Julian in a very Philly region tone "Yo, Julian, you're the man". Julian smiled and said "cheers".

We were led into the studio and seated. I was in the front row about 4 feet from Julian when he performed. Before the taping, Julian shared a few facial gestures with the audience and put his hand over his forehead to block out the glare from the lights to look into the audience. The taping began.

Julian, along with Matt Backer, performed "Day After Day." After the song, Julian sat with the host of the show, Wally Kennedy. There were a lot of the same old questions. But Julian was intelligent, patient and funny. I remember thinking that I never noticed his dimples before. What a beautiful smile.

After the taping, they allowed time for autographs. When I was finally able to meet him, I gave him a few small gifts. He then thanked me and gave me a hug. His thanks were genuine. It was at this point that my mouth became disconnected from my brain and I was unable to tell him all the things I wanted to tell him. I was only able to say how much I appreciated his music, his efforts and his courage to go on after all he's been through.

He was so patient and gracious in the way that he signed everyone's autographs, posed for pictures and talked with everyone. I left the studio knowing that this evening was a genuine highlight in my life. I also said a little prayer that many others would find pleasure in hearing his beautiful voice and be touched by his warmth and kindness.

Diane Randall